26 April 2022  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in: ,

Five Year 12 students recently attended the University of York Next Step conference – and gave up a Saturday to do so!  Ruby Dower, Carla Francisco, Sophie Pattison, Katie Wade, and Amelia Brown are part of Next Step York, a personalised two-year programme, starting in Year 12 for students in the North of England, providing an opportunity to explore university options and receive specialist support with their current studies.  There were 190 students at the event.  The University of York is part of the Russell Group, one of the UK’s leading universities.

Students took part in different workshops, including Science and Healthcare, Social Sciences, Creatives Arts and Humanities. They also had a campus tour, an academic debate, a personal statement workshop and a Career Insight Session.

Carla Francisco and Katie Wade both won awards for engagement and contribution (University of York branded teddy bears). This was for presenting in their academic groups to students from many other schools, and having the self-confidence and resilience to do this, and even using a microphone as it was such a large group each time.

Sophie Pattison said: “I really enjoyed the day at University of York. As part of the Science and Healthcare group, I had a chance to find out more about healthcare degrees, such as midwifery and medicine. We had a lecture presented by Vassili Crispi, who had been a student at Hull York Medical School (HYMS); he spoke to us about his journey going into medicine and what his life is like now he is a qualified doctor and surgeon. We also got the chance to look around the campus, see what a day at university is like and take part in a global warming debate.

“My favourite part of the day was the debate as it gave us a chance to meet other students doing Next Step York and Yorway to York. The event has been very helpful, especially from the personal statement workshop which has given me an understanding of what I should write about. Seeing the university has helped me decide to apply at the University of York for a Midwifery degree at the end of this year.”

Carla Francisco said: “It was amazing, we learnt so much about types of careers at university as well as personal statement writing. The best part was the academic debate with two prizes going to Richmond.

“The conference definitely helped me feel more confident in my next steps, as they have explained what university life will be like and what studying a course will involve. It was really nice being amongst other people who are definitely considering university.”

Amelia Brown added: “It was a great day. I enjoyed meeting new people and making friends with other students from around the country who are studying similar subjects to me and have common interests. The best part of the event was when we split into smaller groups and had to create a scenario/performance by picking cards out of a hat for different ideas to include in the task. There were also some valuable sessions such as the personal statement workshop which really helped to give advice and support for when we will later write our own.

“The event helped me think about the future as we had a session focused on the typical day of a student where we looked at timetables made by current university students showing how they organise their day to fit in socialising, eating plenty and fitness activities alongside their studying”.

Ms Mannion, Careers Leader, concluded: “I felt so proud of our students by the way they represented Richmond School and Sixth Form College, and I know they have had a very positive experience of what it would be like to go to university. Our students will be invited to a Summer School as the next part of the Next Step journey.”


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